How to Tell If You're in an Abusive Friendship
By eHow Contributor

Been friends with someone for awhile, but somehow feel off about your friendship? Maybe things don't feel as fun as they used to and maybe you're feeling more down than usual. Could you be in an abusive friendship? Here are some steps to find out.

1

Compare your friendship with other friendships. What is different? What compares? Make a list of pros and cons about your friendship.
2

Question if there is any physical abuse. Things like punching and kicking are obvious, but sometimes some may mistaken physical abuse to teasing. Things like flicking, pinching, and grabbing are physical abuse and do count.
3

Question the mental abuse. Does your friend constantly put you down? Are you ridiculed? Think about your conversations with said friend. If you speak of things important to you, how do they view them? If anything you are passionate about seems insignificant to them, this is also a form of mental abuse. Friends should be supportive.
4

Do they go out of their way to hurt you/make fun of you? How often do they do it, if they do? In abusive relationships, this tends to be an everyday sort of thing.
5

Are they obsessed with you? Think about whether or not they stick around you constantly and if they become jealous of you being with other friends. Often times the other party can become severely jealous of "outsiders" and may try to wreck your friendship. This is not cool.
6

Do they communicate with you? Does this friend openly communicate yours and their feelings with you? Try to communicate problems with them and take notice with what happens. Most of the times an abusive friend will shut you out entirely.
7

Examine your relationship with this person on the outside. Think about it as a stranger would. Does the friendship seem normal to you or does it seem to be a destructive one? You decide and always trust your instincts.
8

Take necessary action to fix the relationship or walk away for good. Though they say most people never change their ways, one should always have a bit of faith in a friend. Try to make them open up and understand where you are coming from. It may take time or may not work, but know that it is always up to you to make things right in your own life.

Tips & Warnings

Friendships are fragile things and always know that a careful approach to any situation is necessary.

Never point fingers and raise your voice. Talk in a calm manner and don't put the blame on the other party when trying to have a discussion.

Open up about all of your problems in an understanding manner. Everything must be said to get anywhere.

If a friend is too abusive and has a past of being harmful, it is best to walk away. If you have fears about your safety NEVER hesitate to get the proper authorities involved.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4447489_tell-youre-abusive-friendship.html

This is a helpful article on recognizing abusive friendships. 

Views: 142

Replies to This Discussion

"Question the mental abuse. Does your friend constantly put you down? Are you ridiculed? Think about your conversations with said friend. If you speak of things important to you, how do they view them? If anything you are passionate about seems insignificant to them, this is also a form of mental abuse. Friends should be supportive."

"Do they go out of their way to hurt you/make fun of you? How often do they do it, if they do? In abusive relationships, this tends to be an everyday sort of thing."

I just went through this and ended the friendship.

look for the signs

Question the mental abuse. Does your friend constantly put you down? Are you ridiculed? Think about your conversations with said friend. If you speak of things important to you, how do they view them? If anything you are passionate about seems insignificant to them, this is also a form of mental abuse. Friends should be supportive.
4

Do they go out of their way to hurt you/make fun of you? How often do they do it, if they do? In abusive relationships, this tends to be an everyday sort of thing.

Ending friendships can be very hard.  That might be especially true for someone who is introverted.  Fewer friends and maybe closer?

I don't have many friends.  There was a one-sided friendship that I had a hard time getting out of last year.    Unfortunately, it was a coworker.  She was so passive-aggressive.  Not abusive directly, as on here, but continuously intrusive, stopping by my house unannounced and uninvited (30 minute drive from her house), unwanted gifts, invitations that I repeatedly said no to.  Initially, it started as a cordial friendship at work, then a holiday meal invitation (with opening prayer... ).  She contacted my aging, declining Dad in the midwest (googled to get his address) and told him how wonderful I am.  Meanwhile at work, there was more of the same.  I finally stopped all non-work contact, and just lived with the situation at work.  A few months later, in the summer, she stopped by my house with an expensive Xmas gift that she meant to give to me.  I thanked her but did not let her in.  I gave the gift to good will.  She gave up on me, but then started stalking other coworkers - they couldn't even escape to the restroom, she would folllow them in.  Finally, she went on disability for apparently mental issues.  This was not the kind of bullying where you insult and belittle people, but it was unwanted, repetitious intrusion and made me and others very uncomfortable.  I kept thinking she about Kathy Bates in Misery.  

Glad it ended.  Sometimes another coworker will mention her, that she contacted her on facebook.  I make a sign like warding off vampires with a cross, and say, be very very very very careful.

I am like you. I also don't have many friends. Yes, fewer friends but closer. I am a loner.

That coworker sounds like she has mental issues. Sorry to hear you had to go through something like that. She was probably doing that to others as well I would assume.

Appreciate you sharing your story. I feel better than I'm not alone in ending a friendship.

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